Migrating from existing command-line set up


I heard about Mail-in-a-Box a short while ago and have been intrigued about it ever since.

About a year ago I set myself up a dedicated VPS (Digital Ocean) that is used solely for email. I do have another VPS solely for the web. While I am proud of the work I put in to get the email server working, the more projects I take on the more nervous I become with hosting email for clients.

I’m not going to pretend I can offer xx% guaranteed uptime to them, but I would like to think that whenever anything does wrong, I’m able to fix it. There is where a more web-based UI, robust solution will help me I think. I do however have a few questions before I start the migration:

  • The migration itself. I have a dedicated IP. I remember when I set up my server initially I did have some issues with the IP being allowed by Microsofts Live/Outlook/Hotmail servers. I satisfied all their requirements and after a day or so myself and Microsoft were getting on just fine. I wouldn’t like to ‘lose’ any of this trust I have built up by either changing what protocols I use or even having to change IP. I expect I will need to run Mail-in-a-Box concurrently with my existing server and migrate all domains etc to it when I’m ready. My fear is that as I set up a new server for MiaB and am allocated a new IP, I will lose any data associated with my existing IP. I may be barking up the wrong tree here totally but any advice would be much appreciated.

  • I use the DO API to take bi-weekly image backups of my email VPS. What sort of back up measures would be appropriate for MiaB? Presumable I would need data back-ups as well as back-ups of the system and configuration?

  • I do have my own domain but that is tied to my existing VPS for email. I have access to another domain that I can register for use on MiaB and to some extend, this would be my guinea-pig domain. However I wouldn’t like the latter to become my ‘main’ domain or email address on MiaB though I am happy to use it for initial set-up. Does the first email address registered hold any particular sway in the system?

I think that’s it for now. Apologies for the rather wordy questions but I am really keen to try this solution but just need to be prepared for any pain when migrating an existing email solution. I am a front end web developer by trade so while I do have a good grasp of the technology for email, it’s by now means where my expertise lies!

Thanks in advance and no doubt I’ll have more questions.

Can you assign the IP to the new machine?

What sort of back up measures would be appropriate for MiaB?

The box makes an on-disk, encrypted incremental backup of data, which you can then copy to another machine. Or just use DO’s usual backups.

Does the first email address registered hold any particular sway in the system?

No, but it is used as the default when you are asked to name the box. It should be possible to change the name later but I’ve never done it.

Thanks Josh, really appreciate your feedback.

Regarding the IP, I’m not sure. I’d need to consult DO about their policy on that.